Post by Metamorphosis on Aug 8, 2008 9:06:59 GMT -8
I believe in NC, but as Susan said sometimes it is impossible. I go to a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous every day. When I first broke up with this guy I changed meetings. I missed my friends terribly so I went back. At first it hurt to see him. Then, as I posted on this board, the spell was broken when I called him at a time I knew he was home and he did not pick up. Now there is no painful longing. But I am still attracted to him and I still like him. We speak briefly after meetings.
I started this thread to get some opinions about boundaries. I do not want people to tell me about NC. I know about this. I have read all the threads. I am going to try boundaries instead.
To me NC is essential when you are still in love and longing to be with someone. I was obsessed with my therapist and finally got over him a few months after I ended therapy and did not see him anymore. But in this current situation I want to explore boundaries not NC.
I would welcome opinions about proper boundaries when you are friends and not lovers and see someone everyday at an AA meeting.
I understand your need for boundaries instead of NC. I myself have started to use "boundaries" as I bumped into my PoA the other week and we've talked several times since-- he lives in my 'hood and bumping into each other is inevitable.
I am at a point though where the boundaries are quite amorphous and this concerns me. He calls whenever he wants and i pick up the phone. He'll ask if I want to go out and do stuff and though I say no, I feel the pull. It's like a black hole. You get too close and you get sucked in. Boundaries fail if you are not careful. Think of it as a social smoker-- cutting back to one cigarette a day, instead of quitting cold turkey. There are people who can do this. I, personally, cannot. I know my limits. You need to know yours. I know, for example, that my boundaries won't hold out much longer with my PoA and that i will have to return to NC again. Plain and simple.
Test the waters. That's what recovery is all about: trying out different ways of coping in certain situations. You might be great with boundaries, but you might not. The ability to recognize your limitations and pull back and change if necessary will be what saves you.
Post by Metamorphosis on Aug 8, 2008 10:45:16 GMT -8
My POA does not pursue me therefore he cannot cross over my boundaries. I initiate all contact and he is polite. So my goal is to stay in remission. If talking to him triggers "longing" I will back off. So far I am happy flirting and showing him that I am fine without him. I am going to take your advice and learn through trial and error what works. I know I am playing with fire here. I will be honest about that. But I am not in pain. That is the main thing for me. And I would love to learn how to love someone without longing. That would be recovery for me. Love without pain. Loving someone without the pain of him not loving me back. If I could learn that through this experience I will be happy. I wish I could have learned it when I was "in love" with my dad.
Post by Susan Peabody on Aug 8, 2008 13:29:03 GMT -8
Some people we will fall out of love with. Some people we will forget. Some people we will have no contact with. Some people we will love without pain. Get there anyway you can--boundaries or no contact. Take it on a case by case basis. The correct answer to whether you need boundaries or NC will come from self-honesty. "This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man." (Hamlet)
However, if you are in doubt, err on the side of NC
Hi all - Hmmm. I have been wracking my brain all week about this subject, after seeing my POA on Monday. I had not seen him in 2 months and it was a relief (not seeing him).
Seeing him brought up a lot of old memories and has caused a lot of grief. Some of the grief is natural; seeing someone I cared for in such a vulnerable state (I have mentioned on a post, he has been recieving treatments for an illness - and is very weak) and wondering if he is going to make it. It's very sad and scairy. It fills me with regret and guilt at the difficult times we went through and the pain we caused each other.
My addiction kicks in with the wanting to be the one who is with him through this - operative words being "THE ONE". He is engaged and has someone looking after him. I still find it hard to accept, graciously, that it is not me.
I am struggling with the "boundaries" vs. "NC", both of which I have been practicing with him for years.
Like you Met. he does not initiate. We are not in a relationship. It is I who still carry the torch. I know that my priority is that I want to be appropriate in our contact, and I think I have been. I think he sees this, too. I do not, and have not flirted with him in years.
Our encounters are pleasant and usually about work stuff. But like you and telmita address - it's a slippery slope. If he were single, I could definitely see myself sliding into oblivion!
My pain has come from watching him carry on his new relationship the past 2 years. I've pullled back from frequenting our place of work, and have gone to other branches, because it gets too painful seeing them together.
So a lot of my contact - or just seeing him - is a choice. My behavior is appropriate. Its a question of how much pain I want to give myself.
Sorry to ramble. Please post your progress with this situation. I think it is definitely possible to love without pain. I'm not there yet with this fellow. It will take a lot of letting go.
This is so well said.I too have issues with upholding my boundaries,but after thsi weekend of NC I, finding that I feel stronger and Im that much closer to gaining the self esteem that I need.
Oneday,I hope to be able to care enough for ME that I can set healthy boundaries for myself.
Personally Ive found that I was so terrified at the thought of no contact that Id look for other ways to be in the relationship and at the same time heal myself.SOme people just simply have to go. And NC is the best way of dealing with them.
I feel for myself at this time is nc. Last week I had a brief fantasy to drive my her house, maybe she be out, she'd be happy to see me, invite me in etc. Felt that high. Did this once before recovery, saw her overnite friends car there, Was devastated. So I was able to talk myself out of it and did not stop. Visualized her like a bottle of alcohol to remind myself I'd be starting all over again. This person, I believe is a s/w narcissist. She could be the most charming and warm one minute and cold, cruel , distant the next. I recalled how that felt and what it did to me. So in my situation, I feel I don't want to be treated badly by her or anyone else in my life anymore. This seems to work best for me at this time.
Hi M, For me, boundaries is about my choosing appopriate levels of intimacy with people. Think of a target with a bullseye. The concentric circles. Now instead of solid circular lines alow each line to be permeable- have small openings. On the outer ring put strangers, on the next ring put co-workers, aquaintances, people you see at church, the postman, etc. on the next ring in put friends, some family, a casual lunch date, your hairdresser, trainer, etc... ON the next ring in put close friends, people that matter, someone your seeing steady, your sponsor, ON the next ring in ( see they get smaller) put your best friend, a committed long term relationship, your close family, maybe a spiritual advisor or priest, In the very center circle - it's you and your higher power
this is what taking it to another level is about. another level of intimacy -built on trust built in the previous level. this is how is was explained to me.
On the outer level we talk about the weather, its a nice day, who won at the Olympics, etc next layer, we talk about the same but slightly more personal - movies we saw, great sales at the mall, the neighbors new flowerbed, etc. if people are respectful and we are comfortable we can offer small things about ourselves and see what they do with them. if they are respectful consistently we can allow them into a closer ring. If we let them in closer and they are not - we bump them back out a level.
Boundaries are not walls -they are fluent. Our comfort is defined by us. My comfort is defined by myself and cannot be disputed by anyone. I decide. Based on my decisions i allow people into my life at varying levels of intimacy.
the levels of intimacy develop that way. We know our boundaries are crossed when we are uncomfortable. I am practicing this and it helps. It is easiest with new people. People who I let way too far in already take more effort. My last POA, is very difficult because I allowed him to jump in close when he belonged much further out. He was relating to me from the outer ring and I was relating to him from an inner ring. We were not on the same level. It is still hard for me to accept that. I am only now learning about this and how to practice it. The inner rings of close friends is where private sharing begins and I always jumped the gun there too. So, this is exciting. I remember Discretion = Delay. I have to think what I say, before I respond and see how I feel. What level are they, what do I share at that lvel?, how do I feel, am I comfortable? I guess that many of us have this to work on. given our histories it makes sense. not learning it in childhood is no excuse for not learning it now. I could use support in this area and will gladly support those of you who are also learning how. bluebird.
Last Edit: Aug 11, 2008 5:53:37 GMT -8 by bluebird
Post by Metamorphosis on Aug 19, 2008 13:18:34 GMT -8
I just wanted to check in. The weaning process is going slow. I still see him every day at AA. I have stopped emailing him because he says he is 4 weeks behind on his email. I am going to stop writing him. I am going to make fewer phone calls. But I am still attracted to him and when I saw him with another women my heart stopped. Untill life has going to separate meetings I will see him and my goal is to turn off the passion and just be platonic. I feel I am making progress and I am not in pain. My Higher Power has lifted the painful craving to be with him much like he lifts the compulsion to drink for an alchoholic. Am I still in denial about boundaries versus NC. Maybe!
Post by sobrietythirst on Aug 19, 2008 14:41:49 GMT -8
I am realizing that each path to recovery is different. At this point, I can't love without desperation, addiction, and fantasy. I can't be with someone right now...the loneliness and withdrawal is too high at this point to be in constant closeness or communication with my POAS...I often think about what they'll think of me...or I could at least give them a warning???I am learning that this is not essential. Recovery is about me...and if it's really meant to be...wouldn't I find and be with that person when we are both healthy. Boundaries was simply something I used to stay addicted. A POA called me once a month for about twenty minutes...and it is still giving me a fix. I pray that I can completely let go one day...without limmerance, torch bearing, and fantasy.
"Learn your way around loneliness. Make a map of it. Sit with it, for once in your life. Welcome to the human experience. But never again use another person's body or emotions as a scratching post for your own unfulfilled yearnings." Elizabeth Gilbert
Post by Metamorphosis on Aug 22, 2008 12:51:46 GMT -8
Every day I love him less. This is a first for me. Dorothy Tennov says you either transfer limerence or starve it to death. I have always tranferred it (torch bearer). This is the first time it is just dying a slow death. Is this recovery?
Post by starkeeper on Aug 22, 2008 18:29:55 GMT -8
Yes, I believe it is recovery when starving it . I am doing the same thing. I find that I cannot put a time limit on it. But it is the way to go for me. AS time passes hopefully other interests start taking hold. Building on little successes. I am feeling better and have a better perspective on things. WE must be patient with ourselves. I actually tried to transfer it somewhere, but I guess God said try another way. Progress not perfection,
hi all - personally, I wouldn't mind transferring that limerance to something fulfilling in my life that will BENEFIT ME. But I do not want to transfer it to another person. It's painful but I would like to get at the bottom of things with me and more or less start with a clean slate. Everyone's path and desires are different, of course. I am not looking for a relationship with anyone but myself right now.
I'd be happy - ECSTATIC - to just not have the pain which still remains from the last POA. I have a good life, and I'm grateful for many, many things. But this last addictive situaion really affected me in a way that I think fundamentally changed me. But maybe this is just withdrawal and realization. Maybe a joy will return. I don't know. I hope.
Post by Metamorphosis on Aug 25, 2008 13:43:15 GMT -8
I took a step backwards. Too much flirting. It has fanned the flames of desire. So I am going to step back and go to less meetings where I will see him. I really am a love addict and find I enjoy being in love even if it is all in my head. But I am playing with fire here. If I go too far with my fantasies the pain will come back and I don't want that.
Hi! I am new here but I identify with so much. I have done a lot of work but I realize I have fallen off the wagon. Your comments really help me to understand what I am doing. I have come to realize NC is the best way to go when you really want to amputate someone. The cravings are horrible in the beginning but after sometime you realize you hate that person and love you! Yeah for that. I have come to realize that I just want them b/c they don't want me. I think it's love on my part for them. But it's really not. I just want validation from them. Somehow if they would just love me. I am lovable. Relationships are about courage to say what you need to the other person. If they cannot meet your needs, then you need to evaluate if that is something you can live with. i find that I don't always say what my needs are, go along with what they are wanting (sometimes selfish pig men) and then get hurt when go off with someone else. That someone else was probably telling them what they wanted. The other person as a result was willing to meet that need. I am also realizing that just b/c someone doesn't like you does not mean it's about you. They can have issues and maybe that is hard to see. I often internalize the issues as about me. I understand that could be a narcissitic way of looking at things. I never thought of it that way. I am just very sensitive. Rejection is very hard for me. Something I have struggled with all my life. I would your input on dealing with rejection. Then i think we naturally form the boundaries that are good for us. I love how someone explained the various circles of friendship and people in our lives. I need to bring people in slowly and having courage to bring them in closer.
My poa and I hung out this past week, I thought I could handle it, and I put up strict boundries, but then soon as he did something I didn't like, all of the old resentments came flooding back. If you can maintain a boundry and see your poa that you're still attracted to--that's great, but honestly we are all addicts this is why we are on this board, if most of us could maintain boundries we wouldn't have gotten in our current prediciment. These are some things to consider: how will it make you feel if your poa starts dating someone else in the rooms and you are there to witness it? How would it make you feel if he starts ignoring you out of the blue? Or talks to some cute girl, and you have to witness them exchanging numbers? Or he takes off without saying anything to you? The only way you can maintain boundries is if you're totally done with the guy, don't care who he dates, and you are with someone new. Otherwise, you're setting yourself up for some serious pain sister.
It seems like what people have said here is that unless you have something like work or children together or something like that then NC is the best option. Susan talked about self honesty. I admit the reasons that I don't institute NC with my POA are mainly because of how painful it would be for me personally. Also fear that she is the one and I will never find another person like her. And then feelings of guilt because to break off contact with her would mean going back on things that I had said, it would be breaking promises that I made and things like that.
LC for me has been two steps forward one step back... I do have some emotional detachment from her. Today I have spent a good deal of time in the addiction, having imaginary conversations with her, composing e-mails to her in my head. When I have remembered to say it - the serenity prayer has helped me today.
I did LC and my POA ended up springing his new girlfriend on me, trying to convince me that we should all be friends. It was a shocker and it convinced me that NC is better for me. A few weeks ago I did LC in order to finish up cell phone business and he told me that he never wants to let me go, that he loves me, blah, blah, blah. I asked him how he could love me and live with another woman? Again, LC did me no good. One day at a time I will continue NC. Also, if I have LC I eventually feel the sexual tension and I give in so easily, then I regret it. With him, I'm so easy... I'll never get what I want from him. I still want to think he is "the one". But, well, apparently it's not true. I think it's better to go through the grieving and hope that I get another chance at a healthier love. From what I've read on these boards though, that idea looks pretty bleak.
I think that LC is going to keep you hanging on and keep you in an unhealthy place. There are times when LC is the only thing that will work (e.g. if you have children together and need to interact at times). But, for the rest of us, NC is probably the best and healthiest thing you can do.
We've all been there before. We know it's hard, almost impossible, to let go and walk away. Many of us also feel we are leaving "the one". And withdraw is painful and arduous. But you can get through it and you can get to a more serene and peaceful place. If you don't leave your POA behind and work on yourself, you'll never know who and what else may be waiting for you on the other end. How can you be open to new experiences and a new love if you are stuck in an obsessive, unhealthy relationship with your POA?
Sounds like you are deep in the fantasies too. I've been there. I've had amazingly long conversations with my POA in my head. This was warm and comfortable and I'd go to bed early just to think about her and create this fantasy relationship in my mind (which was always way better than the reality of things). Now I am free of that. I do still think about her, but it's less and doesn't involve the same amount of fantasy. I've opened myself up to new people as well and have more healthy, normal relationships in my life.